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Paradise Officially Lost – Legendary Pulls Plug

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Variety

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The movie killing beast known around here as the fearsome Bloatedicus Budgetasaurus has struck again, this time dealing a death blow to a long talked about project that’s gone straight to hell.

According to Variety, Legendary Pictures has officially pulled the plug on Alex Proyas’ big-budget adaptation of John Milton’s 17th century poem Paradise Lost due to budget issues.

Bradley Cooper, Ben Walker, Casey Affleck, Djimon Hounsou, Rufus Sewell, Camilla Belle, Diego Boneta and Callan McAuliffe were slated to star in the film, which Legendary initially pushed from January to June.

Insiders close to the production told Variety that while Proyas’ vision of the movie was great, the technology wasn’t quite there, and the filmmakers couldn’t reduce the budget enough to satisfy Legendary.

Vincent Newman was set to produce Paradise Lost with Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni. The project was designed to showcase eye-popping aerial warfare, and Warner Bros. was on board to distribute.

Paradise Officially Lost - Legendary Pulls Plug

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?

Wanna See Something REALLY Scary? The Brave Little Toaster Dream Scene

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“Wanna see something REALLY scary?”

To horror fans who came of age in the 1980s, the line above instantly evokes memories of Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks in the opening scene from Twilight Zone: The Movie. Now, on a bi-monthly basis, I’ll be asking, “Wanna see something REALLY scary?” with the goal of shocking you with chilling footage plumbed from the darkest corners of YouTube.

Earlier this week, I published an article highlighting terrifying moments from kids’ movies, scenes that haunted those of us who were mere youngsters in the 1980s. One example that wasn’t included, but that Dread Central Head Honcho Uncle Creepy agrees was a real sucker-punch, is the dream scene from the animated film The Brave Little Toaster, Released in 1987.

Before Beauty and the Beast personified teapots and candelabras, and before Toy Story brought us the story of dated action figures looking for their owner, Jerry Rees directed a mostly-benign tale that followed the meanderings of abandoned appliances trying to find their way home; the main character is the titular toaster who is, obviously, brave. Give the trailer a look-see.

Okay, the fact that the appliances refer to their owner as “Master” is definitely weird, but nothing could prepare viewers (especially younger ones) for a terrifying moment that comes completely out of left-field. The brave toaster has a bad dream that proves appliances have worse nightmares than most humans!

Everyone credits the 1990 IT miniseries with creating a generation of coulrophobia sufferers, but The Brave Little Toaster also came out first. Not only are we visually assaulted by a terrifying clown, he’s also a fireman, a fact that might have perplexed and disturbed kids to no end. Luckily, there don’t appear to be any lingering or widespread phobias associated with first responders!

Wanna see something REALLY scary?

Give the dream sequence from The Brave Little Toaster a spin below and just imagine what it might have been like to see it at a tender age!

Got an idea for a future installment of “Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?” Hit me up on Twitter @josh_millican!

Wanna See Something REALLY Scary

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The Cured Review – Ellen Page Fights for Her Life

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Starring Ellen Page, Sam Keeley, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Paula Malcomson

Written by David Freyne

Directed by David Freyne


Taking a cue from AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” the new Irish horror film The Cured begins where most zombie stories end. Drawing more comparisons, the themes of mistrust and social upheaval are front and center here as well. We’re the real villains and the infectious disease turning humans into monsters is only there to hold up a mirror to show the worst sides of ourselves. The Cured uses the Zombie mythos as Romero intended as a commentary on culture, with a little cannibalism thrown in for good measure.

Against the backdrop of a military takeover attempting to reintroduce the recently cured back into society, two people try to return to some kind of normalcy in a war torn Ireland that’s been turned upside down by the Zombie menace. Recently widowed, Abbey (Page) allows her now virus free brother-in-law Senan (Keeley) to live with her and her son even though most survivors are forced to live in an army encampment. Under constant surveillance, Senan’s old friend Conor (Vaughan-Lawlor) radicalizes the mistreated survivors of the virus into open rebellion.

The treatment of the survivors isn’t entirely unfair considering that they still have a connection and are not detected by a small percentage of the infected that haven’t responded to the cure. As both sides size each other up, Abbey and Senan are caught in the middle as they try and restore their humanity before the powder keg around them erupts.

Given its far out premise, the story stays firmly grounded in reality focusing on the growing resistance and  its political implications drawing parallels to the protest movements such as the “Black Block” that have dominated some recent news cycles. When the virus divided the population it was easy to know what side you were on; now, the cure has created a new class structure where the lower class is maligned until they cross the line and overthrow the uninfected. Clearly still affected and haunted by the heinous acts they committed when they were infected, the cannibalistic rage they still carry reflects the rage felt by the mistreated masses hellbent on overthrowing the powers that be.

Whether for budget reasons or simply a style choice, the eating frenzies that occurred before the cure are never fully shown so any gore and graphic images that could’ve been showcases for effects are left to the imagination. Maybe they weren’t shown because these acts were so unspeakable that they are too horrific to see and too painful to fully be remembered by the survivors. The top-notch sound design ratchets up instead and roars to life to the point where just hearing the carnage is enough to make you turn away.

Page’s performance is the emotional core of the film as she goes from understanding to fear to dealing with the ultimate betrayal. It’s important for a slow-developing story like this to have an actress with some star power, and director David Freyne and his team were fortunate to have a high caliber actress ready to deliver in some of the film’s quieter, more intense moments. Freyne directs these smaller character moments with care and also delivers once things open up to show the inevitable anarchy brimming under the surface.

The Cured may feel too closed off at times to allow its bigger ideas to fully breathe but it never pretends to encompass a more epic scope that would be more in the vein of something like World War Z. Without ever addressing it directly, Freyne, as an Irishman, seems well aware of the history of the country and he and cinematographer Piers McGrail inject their film with a pathos that makes Dublin come to life inside the world of the undead.

  • The Cured
3.5

Summary

The Cured is a gritty take on the genre that fits nicely into the new type of storytelling that these stories need to embrace in a post-Romero world.

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Director Brian Taylor Introduces Us to Mom & Dad

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Director Brian Taylor was more than kind enough to sit down with us for a few minutes to discuss his latest film, Mom & Dad starring Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair. This parental-units gone mad flick has already had it’s share of buzz during its release back on January 19th, and with a DVD and Blu-ray street date of February 20th, this is sure to be one film that will define the term “smothering parenting.” Read on and enjoy this little dive into paternal and maternal madness!

DC: Brian – let’s start off by having you give us a brief synopsis of the film, as well as where in the deep recesses of your mind did you manage to come up with an idea such as this?

BT: Well, the germination of the idea is pretty straightforward – I am a parent, so I think it’s something we can all relate to, and I will say that when I told my son about the idea of what the film was about, he looked at me as if I was insane. The movie is like one of those “one fine day” films…One fine day, in the world, the birds are singing and the sprinklers are happily watering away on millions of lawns, some phenomenon happens, and it’s never explained why or how, but it’s just a thing that everyone needs to react to. Simultaneously, all across the country – maybe all across the world, all the parents turn on their own children in a homicidal rage, and they don’t attack anyone else’s children – only their own. In the movie we follow two kids who have to survive 24 hours in the house they grew up in to avoid killing (or being killed) by the two people they love most in the world, and are supposed to love them the most in the world.

DC: Without giving away any spoilers, is this something that could have a continuation piece attached to it in the future?

BT: Well the way it works is if people love this story, we’re more than happy to give it to them, so let’s see how it goes (laughs).

DC: With you having worked with Nicolas Cage in the past, and knowing of his capabilities, was this an instance of you saying “here you go, have at it,” or was there a bit more direction in the process?

BT: Directing Nicolas is understanding that he’s not like other actors – first of all, he’s one of the most professional actors that you will ever encounter. This is a guy that may seem to be unhinged, over-the-top and crazy when you watch some of the stuff he’s done, but I assure you that he’s an actor of incredible precision and everything he does is under control and well thought-out, to a level that I think would surprise a lot of people. We did a table read for the film the day before we started shooting, and this is usually a time when the actors break out their pencils and make notes and try different things – he walked in and did the entire movie off-book with full-intensity in front of a packed room – nobody does that. The other actors were in awe, so he’s the real deal, and he’s capable of doing things that other actors wouldn’t even begin to try. It’s like being the visor for Cyclops in X-Men – if the visor comes off, he’s able to shred buildings, so that’s it – you’re basically the visor and the funnel for all that energy that’s potentially destructive.

DC: I’m sure this answer will be somewhat of a foregone conclusion, but I’ll ask anyway – Nicolas was your first choice for this role, correct?

BT: Oh yeah, and you never know how people are going to react to material like this because it’s pretty unorthodox, but I kind of knew that he’d get it. I sent him the script and he got back to me a day later and said “I’m in.” He got the humor and satire and most of all he personalized it on a level that the angst of the lost-soul parents is something he can relate to.

DC: After the release of Mom & Dad, what’s going to be keeping you busy for work?

BT: Right now I’m doing the TV show on SyFy called “Happy” which is based on the Grant Morrison comic book, and it’s completely bananas. I’ve got a few more episodes to finish up the first season, and if we’re picked up for a second season I’ll most likely dive straight into that.

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